Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hurricane Katrina 4th anniversary

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थे लेंग्थ ऑफ़ थे road

No beginning or end with little respite or separation between; this treadmill adds inches to already accumulating baggage (and it started as such a glorious day!).

Can this be sane?

Dig the scene; dirty windas down in open celebration, 21 gun salute, brothers-n-arms ripping down THEE 'merican hiiiiiiiiigh-way, pumping diverse stereo soundwaves, capable of almost anything... 'cept dealing wit Tha Man...

You've just left South Station said the sign; where they fighting for every square inch, lump & bump, axe ta grind, before our puttering vehicle is shuttled down another side-street-dump lot- littered with graffiti and fast food laser-light beams,

We come to an even brighter clearing. The bird had landed. Men working.

We come upon a yellow booth, peeled stickers splattered, automatically it spits out a yellow ticket. There is a stranger lurking in the background beside a sign that reads: Everyone Pays a Toll! We gaze up into two black coals that do not seem to share our propensity for the possibilities of a brand new day, but lend what we can for support.

"Pretend to play," I say, or was that just a thought? Lonely island eyes need sumpin' on a road to nowhere.(Making it through another day of gray, handlin' people and they change; consumed by toxic waste is no way to spend a day!).

Then...finally...we were free! Ticket to ride safe and snug, held under the notion of Democracy in the felt visor...Zeppelin vibe climbing...passengers vibing, a la Kerouac and Cassidy on the open road. Miles stretching. Blazin' sun sending messages of colour and vibration down a tingly spine while the hairs stand on end. We set forth toward the flaming horizon.

The music continues to rise above a spotted jungle of concrete vipers vying... "cryin won't help ya...praying wont do ya no good..."

Pines line, straight, in a stretch on both sides of the road...-gazing down, mildly concerned, parents gathered 'round the cluttered roadside remains, scattered, as the traffic slips on by unaware...

Neatly outlined in and among the design, members of the BSP, on the move, winding the traveler's way, watching that prized possesion slowly slip, slide and fade away, lost behind the night clouds settling in, released from another burning sky... Say goodbye!

Hey wait, in a flash, was that just the ticket? Question...confusion...panic...why had it flown out the window? We were good people...looking one to the other, up to where the ticket had once been and back again. How could this happen? Wasn't this road paid for anyway?

Holy Darwin! What were the immediate plans for survival?Question...confusion...panic... That orange and violet sure is streaming....when the clouds move...dancing in diamonds and peer-row-wettin on the shore of new lands...

While we sit at a total had all turned out wrong! Where had the open road gone? The ability to walk alone in unfamililar territory, barefoot, if only to taste the passing winds? Could we ever get it back again?

Everything may appear normal but it's not...passing a boxcar Volvo and then, whirling into the middle lane, an irridescent V-dubs van pays us little mind, smoke escaping.

Where do angels go when they know it's time to fly the coop? Suddenly to be filled to the gills with a glow that quickly becomes a sea of cherry red break lights impeding the flow, rupturing any chance for immediate gain or security, much less serenity. ...unto a silent soliliquy... Out of the question! We shall see 'bout redemption...speeding to pass through hoops and iron crested carefully crafted parameters: time honored art as form to hang on a mantle and greet the people with rigid lines and a fee; a wicked design with a new promise for a betta toe-maw-ra!

We pull up alongside a giant winda and the vehicle comes to a stop. We gaze into a tiny green tank. The machine, a late edition model of the infamous Big Pig, huffs and puffs but does not blow us down. There is a woman in her late 40's, road weary, caked with makeup and oversized jewlery who bends down low, illustrating a decrepit timeline, before hissing,

"Ze teek-ut!"

"Yaaaaz, Mumma Sez-Main, can you even try to understand?"

It wasn't beginning well...

"When we left South station on this here, bee-you-to-full day to do nothing but play....a proclamation if you'll allow Ma'am-"

"-Ze teek-cat, verst!"

Slow ennunciation.... wicked ways...we were in for it... Wasn't this road paid for?

"Ze teek-cat, or, veil charge, lungth uv road. No teek-cat? None?"

It was with our last Lincoln parted that we rode on in silence. The Length of the road?

...and it seems like we've been paying for it eva since...

Where will Happy go?

Instructions for my latest post:

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Right Sides Only

A rather short winded RSO this week.

Click away.

All Filler, No Killer

It's back, again, as I've got back from my summer break, just in time for the Cup Series to have a week off, of course.

Le Trifecta- Bienvenue a Montreal

Bonjour, tout le monde! Ce week-end, nous woyageons aux deux continents et trois pays pour les trois courses du Trifecta.

Premier, nous sommes a Chicago pour le course de IRL samedi soir- le drapeau vert a 22h ET.

Apres le course a Chicago, nous allons a l'Europe pour le course de F1, Le Grand Prix de la Belgique dimanche matin- le drapeau vert a 8h ET.

Enfin, nous traversons encore l'Atlantique pour le course de NASCAR Nationwide a Montreal dimanche apres-midi- le drapeau vert a 14:48 ET.

Les regles:

Choissisez un pilote pour chaque course. Il n'y a aucune restriction sur votre choix de pilote, mais c'est une bonne idee si votre pilote va faire le course :o).

Si vous voulez changer votre choix de pilote pour un course, s'il vous plait, laissez un commentaire sur ce blog. Vous devez faire votre modification AVANT l'heure de drapeau vert pour ce course la.

Une chose derniere: Pendant notre sejour au Canada, s'il vous plait, va chercher William Wilman. Nous le manquons!!!

Bonne chance a tous!

Ce blog conforme a la charte de la langue francaise(loi 101 de Quebec).

Hello, everybody! This week, we travel to two continents and three countries for the three races of the Trifecta.

First, we're in Chicago for the IRL race Saturday night- the green flag drops at 10:00pm ET.

After the Chicago race, we go to Europe for the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Belgium Sunday morning- the green flag drops at 8:00am ET.

Finally, we cross the Atlantic again for the NASCAR Nationwide race at Montreal Sunday afternoon- the green flag drops at 2:48pm ET.

The rules:

Choose one driver for each race. There are no restrictions on your choice of driver, but it is a good idea if your driver is going to run the race :o).

If you want to change your driver for a race, please leave a comment on this blog. You must make your change BEFORE the green flag drops for that race.

One last thing: During our stay in Canada, please look for William Wilman. We miss him!!!

Good luck to all!!!

This blog conforms to the Charter of the French Language(Quebec's Law 101).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NASCAR ( SYMT ) Bristol Results

We are off to Atlanta with the top 5 drivers all mathematically still in the hunt for season champion. Good luck to everyone on are last race of the season. Check out who is still in the hunt and grid. Changes to grid on paint scheme can be done before next week for those who are supersticious>>>>>> Storkjrc. lol
This week I will be doing one of my favorite NFL teams to give Hanahan and Moseby some company out on the track.



Random Thoughts from Bristol

I forgot to put up the link yesterday. Just more misc. ranting.

Something a little new......

My racing polymath side has come to Blogger.

Looking back on a week of racing highlights with the Motorsport Power Rankings.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mike Hanner: Private Eye IX

Hanner gears up for the showdown!



Rating the Sharpie 500

The rating from Saturday night's race is up. Just click the title.

That's Debatable - Chasing Kyle Busch

Ok, I am trying out some new blog ideas so I can get back to writing more is a first attempt!

Click that title and it will take you there!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Speeding Bullets: Sharpie 500

This week's edition of The Speeding Bullets is up. Just click on the title to read all of my latest analysis from the night race at Bristol!

View From The Flagstand

Point, click, read.
Wash, rinse, repeat.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Who Would You Throw Under The Bus? -- August 23, 2009

Sports fans, it's that time of week again! It's time to call out your favorite sports figures, teams, etc., for their idiocy, insolence, and general all-around dumb-A$$e4y. You can do that by throwing them under the Bus. Because of the bad economy, we here at Who Would You Throw Under The Bus? are resorting to the short bus, meaning we have to run them over more often to get the same effect as before. And away we go!!!


Kevin Harvick: I wasn't going to do this initially, but after further review, I must. He in effect cost teammate Clint Bowyer any chance at the Chase when he made contact with Bowyer. Bowyer slapped the wall as Harvick was being tagged by Jamie McMurray (no fault of McMurray's). Bowyer was in and out of his pit several times during the caution for repairs and amazingly, did not lose a lap. Harvick's boneheaded move cost Bowyer a sure top 10, perhaps a top 5. Sounds like someone isn't Happy at RCR. But before you destroy your own reputation, you get thrown under Da Bus for costing Bowyer any chance at the Chase. You also get thrown under Da Bus for throwing YOUR pit crew under Da Bus during Da Race at Bristol. (I wonder how the RCR drivers' meeting will go this week, with Harvick bickering with Mears and now Bowyer?)

ESPN: once again, their race coverage left a LOT to be desired. Just because the race ran just past 11 PM EDT, they IMMEDIATELY cut away after the Victory Lane celebration to SportsCenter for the latest coverage of Brett Favre. Are you ESPN or freaking TMZ? Did I miss the memo that TMZ bought out ESPN? Give up your NASCAR coverage to a network that GENUINELY wants it. ESPN gets it's rear end thrown under Da Bus.


San Francisco Giants: their failure to land a MUCH-needed power bat at the trade deadline is coming back to bite them in the rear. While they made a good move to improve their infield defense in getting Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates, acquiring Adam Dunn COULD have put them over the top. Their lack of offense showed against the Colorado Rockies. Tim Lincecum can't win games 1-0 all season long. Neither can the rest of that superb staff. It bit them today in a series loss to the Colorado Rockies. The Giants scored two runs today. They lost 4-2 to the surging Rockies. For not getting a HUGE power bat, and losing a key series to the Rocks, the Giants get thrown under the Bus.

New York Mets: ONLY the Mets can find new and unusual ways to lose. Today it was via the triple play at the end of a 9-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets had runners on 1st and 2nd with NO outs. With the runners going, Jeff Francoeur lines a shot up the middle. Eric Bruntlett was covering second base and the ball was lined right to him. He steps on second for the second out, and tags the runner going from first to second for the third and final out of the inning. End of game. Drive home safely. Phillies 9, Mets 7. The Mets are also bringing Omar Minaya back. Why? He has run this once-proud franchise into the ground. You have a brand-spanking new stadium, but an aging team with bad chemistry. He does NOTHING about it, except wring his hands. The Mets get thrown under the Bus, not so much for the triple play, but for bringing the Franchise Wrecker back.


The Media: for its incessant, non-stop, 24/7 Brett Favre coverage. We've heard this song before, and it's a yawner. Yeah, Favre's coming back. Yeah, he's with the Vikings, to stick it to Ted Thompson. Get over it. The Media get thrown under the Bus for its nonstop coverage.

Brett Favre: I'm lumping him in here as well. Yes, you want so badly to get over on Ted Thompson. But there is a reason he went with Aaron Rodgers: he's a better QB at this stage than you are, Brett. He gives the Packers a better chance to win NOW. So get over it. Favre gets thrown under the Bus.

Those are my nominees for the week. Feel free to come in with yours.

The Star Spangled Banner

My sister's co-worker and her husband grew up around Hickory, NC...All their family knew a lot of the drivers when they were just kids - Dale Sr., DJ pumped gas back then, lots of stories.

She and her husband were taking a trip back to North Carolina from Georgia. Their 3-year-old grandson was in the car with them, singing, going up I-85 and she noticed the song he was singing was "The Star Spangled Banner." So she joined in. He'd seen enough races and heard the song until he knew it all the way through, except when he got to the end of it, he thought the last line was "Gentleman, start your engines."


Happy Sunday!





Was this the turning point?

I had to write a blog about it really :P

Sharpie 500:Winners and Losers

With the final off week of the season coming up, the teams head to Bristol with a lot on the line. whether it is points, Chase aspirations, or rides. Bristol plays a pivotal role for many drivers, but surviving was key.

Check out this week’s winners and losers.


Kyle Busch

For Kyle Busch, Bristol is becoming his house and with good reason he leads many if not all the statistical categories at this track, so it’s not a big surprise to see him running within the top 10 for most of the day and then to win was also not so surprising.

Busch who qualified 15th for the race quickly moved forward. Busch found himself battling for a spot in the top five. He was battling some of the same issues that everyone else was fighting a very tight race car.

Busch early had a good car on restarts but would fall off a bit as the run went on. His team had great pit stops and was able to adjust on the car. Busch took the lead late from Michael Waltrip.

With multiple late cautions, Busch had to hold off a hard-charging Mark Martin for the win.

Busch who came into the race sitting 15th in the standings, couldn’t afford to have a bad run or a poor finish. With so much on the line, the team rallied behind Busch and earned this finish.

Heading into Atlanta in two weeks, Busch is hoping to find the same success he had last year at the track and to continue his gain on the standings. Busch needs to finish in the top 10 on Sunday night if he wants to have a shot come Richmond.

Busch needs Bristol to be added to the schedule more than twice a year, it’s his house.

Points: 13th

Marcos Ambrose

Now I usually put the second-place driver in this position but I had to give this one to Marcos Ambrose. This rookie driver in the Sprint Cup series is having a great year.

Even without a win, Ambrose is proving each week that he not only belongs in this series, he will be factor each week.

Ambrose started in 25th but quickly moved forward. He was in the top 10 and battling for positions in the top 10 by lap 179. Ambrose would lose a few spots on pit road, but he was able to gain them back with a great car that allowed him to get better as the run went on.

Ambrose would finish third Saturday night. Ambrose, who shows humility even when he has poor finishes, was probably happier tonight than winner Busch.

Ambrose insists he is still trying to earn the respect of the drivers who have been racing in this series for so long. I think he did that a long time ago.

It’s a good sign for NASCAR when a single-car team can run with the big boys, even though they have technical support from the Michael Waltrip Racing.

Ambrose is to Stewart as Michael Waltrip Racing is to Hendrick Motorsports. (They said I didn’t pay attention in class).

Points: 17th

Jamie McMurray

Once again there were probably a few other drivers who could have landed in this spot, but Jamie McMurray had a solid run and for a guy driving for a ride next year, he showed tonight that when they hit on the setup he can run competitively.

McMurray started 17th on Sunday but found his way into the top ten by lap 195. They fell behind a bit on an adjustment but were able to keep position and with solid pit stops and a good car they finished 11th.

McMurray has a lot more on the line than most drivers and with the races winding down and not many rides available, finishes like this will only help him when it comes down to signing a contract.

McMurray has run better than his teammate David Ragan, but it’s Ragan with the ride at Roush Fenway Racing 2010.

McMurray is an example of a driver with the talent but poor luck and tough economy has this driver looking for work.

Points: 22nd


Clint Bowyer

If Busch had the best points night of any driver, Bowyer had the worst. Before the race Clint Bowyer could do nothing but praise BMS and the great racing.He was then reminded how close he was to making the Chase and how important it was for him to finish strong.

Well it looked good early and he nearly walked away not only with a good finish but a top 10 finish.

Bowyer had been running very well, he was battling some handling conditions but they were able to maintain track position.

On lap 438, contact between Sam Hornish Jr., Casey Mears and Kurt Busch set off a chain reaction involving Bowyer.

Bowyer had some damage but was on pit road multiple times to repair it and was able to stay on the lead lap. With only a handful of laps left, a cut tire for Michael Waltrip sent him into the wall and into Bowyer.

With those two hits, Bowyer saw his Chase chances all but slip away. Bowyer didn’t need another race like this, he has had too many this year and that’s why he fighting to get into the Chase.

Looks more and more like Richard Childress Racing's only hope to make the Chase won’t be crashing the party.

Points: 15th

Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart has nothing to lose, he is already locked into the Chase, and all he has to do is race for wins. Well on Saturday it would have helped if he would have been able to race communicate in the first place.

Stewart couldn’t hear nor could he talk back to his team. They were forced down pit road to change radios and in the process lost a lap when they barely made the restart coming off of pit road.

Four radio changes later and losing multiple laps to the leaders, it all came down to something so simple.

Stewart had switched frequencies to wish teammate Ryan Newman good luck and was never able to get back to the correct frequency with his team.

They figured this out after all the swap outs of helmets. To make matters, worse an electrical issue relegated him to 11 laps off the pace.

Stewart finished 33rd. Stewart hasn’t had many races this year where they completely missed the setup. Even after the radio issues were solved they struggled to keep up with the car.

Stewart could afford a race like this but let’s hope this mini slump ends by the Chase.

For the first time in 2009, Stewart had to consecutive finishes outside the top 10.

Points: First

Carl Edwards

One year ago, Carl Edwards was celebrating in victory lane and was on his way to a series leading nine victories. A year later, Edwards has zero victories and at a track where Edwards has found so much success, he wasn’t even a factor.

Edwards’s day didn’t start out very well; he was way back in traffic in 32nd. At a short track, poor track position can kill your day before a poor handling car does. Edwards, though, was struggling with a poor handling race car and he went a lap down early.

His team was never able to find the handling on this car and instead of battling for the lead, he was battling to stay on the lead lap: a battle he lost. From then on, they were trying for the free pass just to get a decent finish.
On lap 438, he got the free pass he finished 16th.

For Edwards Saturday night was a snapshot of his season, either he has a good car and bad luck or bad car that they can’t adjust on.

Edwards might be a lock for the Chase, but he doesn’t look like a contender with
runs like this.

Points: Fifth

Lucky Dog: Denny Hamlin

For Denny Hamlin the night did not start out very well, on lap 64 he cut a tire and had to come down to pit road and make repairs.

He was a lap down until Bobby Labonte spun and hit the wall that was lap 163.

Hamlin restarted 29th and started moving forward immediately. By lap 250 he was in 13th and by lap 361 he was in the top five. He had a great comeback tonight.
His tire issues were early enough that he was able to continue to work on the car and benefit from cautions early. Hamlin finished fifth after starting 41st.

Hamlin had the best car out there after he went sideways in qualifying and had a flat tire in the first 100 laps, and then he was one of the best cars out there.

Points: Fourth

Final Lap…

Congrats to Bristol Motor Speedway, and all the folks who worked hard to earn the 55th consecutive sellout. In this economy, not many tracks can claim a sell out so far in 2009 and not surprisingly Bristol sold out.

BMS had the fans into the driver-picked songs for their intros, reverting back to old school racing with the drivers addressing the crowd before their parade laps around the track. This weekend was packed with racing, and BMS put on a show.

From Wednesday to the checkered flag, every track should look to Bristol not only for how the drivers are involved, but the fan involvement.
Before the checkered flag, the fans did a karaoke to Garth Brooks, during the red flag late in the race, an impromptu wave began.

There is a reason why Bristol sells out and is such a coveted ticket and I wouldn’t be surprised if next spring we are talking about another sell out.

With an off weekend for the Sprint Cup teams, drivers are getting ready for the final push for the Chase. With so many agendas going into the Atlanta race, we will see some drivers being conservative and others going for the win.

Enjoy the off week and see you in Atlanta for a Sunday night special under the lights.

The Lugnut Report:Short Track Struggles for Jeff Gordon

For Jeff Gordon, Bristol is one of his best tracks with five career wins at the track. Gordon has found ways to win whether it was with bump and run on Rusty Wallace to pull off a win or just dominating the race.

Tonight though would not be easy for this team.

The weekend though started off strong for Gordon with sitting 11th fastest on the speed charts on Friday and then in final practice they were sitting in the top five in speeds.

Gordon had an early draw for qualifying but a very tight race car that relegated them to a 33rd starting position.

Gordon dropped back early, struggling with a tight race car. On the first caution Gordon came in they changed tires and made adjustments.

The car was still too tight, and Gordon would be good for a few laps on a restart but would tighten up as the run went on.

The team used every caution to come in and work on the car, making tire pressure adjustments and on the fourth caution for Bobby Labonte, Gordon came down pit road and they continued to make adjustments on the car.

With fresher tires they quickly made their way into the top 10. On the fifth caution for debris, he lost a couple positions on pit road.

Gordon unhappy with the adjustments quickly began to drop back in the field. Gordon went down a lap to the leader Jimmie Johnson and needed a caution to make a massive adjustment on the car.

The car though just would not handle well; the team was struggling just to keep positions. They got lapped again on lap 405 and systematically there day was over.

Gordon was not happy with the car he said the car was nothing like the car they had at the beginning of the race. They went back on adjustments on the car, but still nothing would help with the handling.

Crew Chief Steve LeTarte decided to stay out and use the wave around rule and hope for a quick yellow. After numerous yellows, Gordon was racing to get back on the lead lap late in the race.

They never did get the lucky dog.

LeTarte did mention that when they got back to Charlotte and tear down this car, they will look for something mechanically wrong with the car. With every adjustment they were unable to correct the handling.

Tonight wasn’t easy and with their place in the standings a rough race like this didn’t hurt them as much as they had been father back in the standings.
For Gordon he couldn’t catch a break both for a caution or to have a better handling racecar.

The only highlight for this team is they clinched a spot in chase but slipped back to third. The one thing they are lacking is bonus points, sitting with only 10 when the chase reseeds.

In 2009 the short tracks have what has been this team’s biggest issue. They have struggled with setups, although Gordon has been able to have decent finishes.

On Saturday though all they could muster was 23rd.

With Richmond and Martinsville still ahead, Gordon and his team need to regroup and try and find the missing piece that has cost them at the short tracks with this new car.

Gordon looks to Atlanta to not only rebound from a rough night at Bristol, but to get 10 more bonus points for the Chase.

For Reed Sorenson Lugnut Report click here. If you missed the very first Lugnut Report from Michigan click here for Casey Mears and Juan Pablo Montoya.